2009 Ettore Germano Prapo Barolo – Piedmont Revisited

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The Winery

(Picture from Ettore winery)

The winery is located on the south-east edge of the Barolo appellation. Sergio Germano is the 4th generation owner of the property. Ettore, Sergio’s father, who grew grapes and made a little wine for his private customers is who the winery is named after. The Prapo vineyard is wildly steep producing wines that are substantial and very well structured. Sergio completed six years at the School of Enology in Alba and worked at Fontanafredda before returning to the property near the village of Serralunga.

Hillside in Piedmont with Nebbiolo vineyards    (Photo ©Michael Kelly)

The Barolo wines made by Sergio are not “creamy or international wines” as he prefers to let the single vineyard speak for itself. He makes his wines using both large and medium sized barrels (called barriques) to get the best expression of the grapes. Having two unique vineyards, he makes the wines in a traditional fashion as opposed to tailoring the wines for the consuming public. Old world with a musty, earthy fashion best describes his wines with long macerations. One sip and you are transformed to the hillsides of Barolo. The best Barolo wines typically need 10-15 years before drinking and can further age up to 30 years.

The winery also makes Docetto, Barbera, Riesling and some sparkling wines.

Characteristics of Nebbiolo

Nebbiolo is a thick skinned, late harvesting grape. Key flavors and aromas are pronounced roses, cranberry, sour cherries, leather, and strong minerality along with red fruits. Most notable are the mouth puckering and lip smacking tannins. Most Nebbiolo are best served many years after their release date to allow the tannins to settle down. In the glass they can appear light colored and translucent around the edges, but do not be fooled that you are about to be greeted by a “light weight wine”! The acidity and tannins are almost unmatched in red wines.

The Wine- 2009 Ettore Germano Barolo, Prapo Vineyard

(Photo ©Michael Kelly)

The wine on the eyes is a used brick red coloring with a brownish hue with a medium body. On the nose faint classic cherry and leather showing off this wines pedigree. On the palate, a very dry Barolo with earthy and almost dusty characteristics, yet cherry and spices still were present. On the finish, dried herbs and a slight tinge of oak provided a long lasting and enjoyable experience. This Nebbiolo wine from the Piedmont region, specifically Langhe sub-region, is always a beautiful treat and cherished. The 2009 is hard to find today, and if found goes for $80 to $110/bottle.

The Food and Wine Pairing

(Photo ©Michael Kelly)

Pulled from the cellar last night to have with dinner as the bold, acidic flavor of the wine allows it to cut through the fats, oils and richness of the Bolognese sauce. The sauce was started at 9 am and left simmering all day on the stove. Ingredients included lean hamburger, ground Italian pork, bacon, chopped celery, chopped carrot, minced garlic cloves, olive oil, chopped onions, chopped fresh thyme, , red wine, bay leaves, beef broth and tomato puree.  Served with whole wheat spaghetti pasta and topped with fresh Parmesan cheese and accompanied by broccoli and a fresh garden salad. The good news, it was an exquisite, perhaps the best of the year, food and wine pairing bringing one back to any Italian restaurants in northern Italy!






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